EMS Resources from WHO/PAHO

World Health Organization

(WHO, Geneva, Switz

erland) – the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.


Pan American Health Organization

(PAHO, Washington, DC) – an international public health agency with more than 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World
Health Organization and enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system.


© Eduardo Mora González, Flickr w/permission

Publications and Useful Links

Here we’ve included a number of WHO/PAHO publications that are especially important in the development of prehospital and trauma systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. They have served, and continue to serve as a great source of invaluable information and experience for Trek Medics projects, and we would highly suggest that any one interested in getting involved in such projects familiarize themselves with these publications before attempting any projects. While developing prehospital systems provides an invaluable resource for communities, it also has the potential to cause an equal amount of harm if done without significant preparation, planning and awareness. We are confident that these publications will help organizations and/or individuals avoid many of these costly mistakes, regardless of the size of the operation undertaken.


Prehospital Trauma Care Systems (WHO)

To respond to the high demand from policymakers for guidance on this issue, WHO developed Prehospital trauma care systems. Prepared with a network of experts from all regions, and led by WHO; Emory University, USA; and St Stephen Hospital, India; the manual focuses on the most promising interventions and components of prehospital trauma care systems, particularly those that are affordable and sustainable and that require minimal training and relatively little in the way of equipment or supplies. The main areas covered include the organization of the prehospital trauma care system, capacity development, data collection, transportation and communication, as well as ethical and legal considerations.

This publication is intended as a guide for planners in ministries of health and others who wish to strengthen prehospital care in their area.


Guidelines for Essential Trauma Care (WHO)

Injury has become a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Organized approaches to its prevention and treatment are needed. In terms of treatment, there are many low-cost improvements that could be made to enhance the care of injured persons. The goal of the Guidelines for essential trauma care is to promote such low-cost improvements. These guidelines seek to set achievable standards for trauma treatment services which could realistically be made available to almost every injured person in the world, These include human resources (staffing and training) and physical resources (infrastructure, equipment and supplies). The basic premise of these guidelines is that improvements in organization and planning can result in improvements in trauma treatment services and hence in the outcome of injured persons, with minimal increases in expenditures.


Emergency Medical Services Systems Development:

Lessons Learned from the USA for Developing Countries (PAHO)

This publication provides guidance to health care and public safety policy makers considering the development of a formal complex Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System. The book is predicated on the experience and history of models commonly found in the United States and in many European countries, and analyzes and profiles common aspects of the core elements of those systems. It is anticipated that policy makers in health and public safety ministries; national emergency commissions; nongovernmental organizations; and other bodies charged with the responsibility of establishing, overseeing, or providing EMS care can use this document as a frame of reference when designing their system’s model.


EMS Systems in European Union Assessment & Data Book (WHO/Europe)

A project whose aim was to describe and assess emergency medical services (EMS) systems across the European Union (EU) and their links with national crisis management systems. Professional standards, organizational structures and coordination mechanisms vary widely across EU Member States. A com- prehensive EMS review was considered necessary in order to understand this variety and to identify gaps and pos- sible means to improve harmonization and standardization. The project was co-financed by the Directorate General for “Health & Consumers” of the European Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.


Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time For Action (WHO)

Approximately 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads, and between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries. The Global status report on road safety is the first broad assessment of the road safety situation in 178 countries, using data drawn from a standardized survey. The results show that road traffic injuries remain an important public health problem, particularly for low-income and middle-income countries. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists make up almost half of those killed on the roads, highlighting the need for these road users to be given more attention in road safety programmes. The results suggest that in many countries road safety laws need to be made more comprehensive while enforcement should be strengthened. The Global status report on road safety results clearly show that significantly more action is needed to make the world’s roads safer.


Injury Surveillance Guidelines (WHO)

To develop effective prevention strategies, most countries need better information. In particular, countries need to know about the numbers and types of injuries that occur and about the circumstances in which those injuries occur. Such information will indicate how serious the injury problem is, and where prevention measures are most urgently needed.

To assist, the Injuries and Violence Prevention Department of the World Health Organization (WHO) has collaborated with agencies from all continents to develop the tools needed for collecting data on injuries. The first product of this collaboration is the International Classification for External Causes of Injuries (ICECI), a detailed classification scheme for injuries that complements the existing International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It provides guidance, to both dedicated researchers and practitioners in the field, on how to classify and code data on injuries according to agreed international standards.

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